“They say that falling in love is wonderful,” according to songwriter Irving Berlin, but one of the pitfalls of falling in love with someone is that they may not always live up to our expectations.
However… when you fall in love with a South Florida house, your perception can become a reality through the magic of home renovation. You can knock down walls, put in a new kitchen, or rewire the house. Sometimes, all you need is a coat of paint and some window treatments or new flooring to achieve the cosmetic surgery you require.
If you have foresight and vision, and the most vital ingredient — money — you can redesign to your heart’s content. So while our loved ones tend to remain as they are, your South Florida home can be redesigned.
With that seemingly simple solution in mind, consider this warning: when you go hunting for a home in South Florida, avoid immediate romantic entanglements. Don’t fall in love the minute you walk through the door. Don’t twirl around in circles of ecstasy when your South Florida real estate agent is watching you.
First, it’s embarrassing. Second, it means the agent knows you like it and that you’re thinking about offering the full asking price. But this is not a date that you have in mind, this is a lifetime commitment.
And remember: your South Florida realtor is the matchmaker. The agent sees the stars in your eyes, and is determined to get you and this house together in the love match of the century. This may be a good thing, or it may not.
In order to make that determination, treat this South Florida house like you would treat a prospective spouse — and back off for a bit. Play the game and do the dance.
After you’ve given this home in South Florida a thorough tour, after you’ve seen the inside, the outside, and planned where your furniture will fit, walk out the door and go for a drive. Talk to your spouse (the one who cannot be remodeled), something you may not have been doing enough of lately. Here’s your chance to relearn the art of conversation.
Listen to each other. Really listen. Because your spouse may see something in that home in South Florida that you missed–it may be huge (like that stain on the living room ceiling under the master bath which may mean a $15,000 bathroom rehab), or it may be nothing at all. Or it may be something really terrific, like a tankless hot water heater hiding on the garage wall.
Ask your South Florida realtor to take you to see to a couple of other South Florida properties so you can make comparisons. Take a deep breath. Then, if your heart is still fluttering, go back in for a second look. If that first South Florida house still looks just as good, walk outside again and scrutinize the walls and the foundation and the roof.
If, after you’ve gotten up close and personal, this home in South Florida still appears to be THE ONE, and you’re both in agreement, ask your South Florida realtor to help you write an offer. And that’s where the excitement really begins…